Beijing: The Timeless City Beijing lies on the northwest tip of the North China (Huabei) Plain, around 150 kilometers northwest from the Bohai Sea and the port of Tianjin’s. Even though Beijing itself is billiard table flat, to the north and west of the city are mountains which shield Beijing and northern China's agricultural heartland from the advancing desert steppes. The historical heart of Beijing lies in the Dongcheng District, which is home to Tian'anmen Square and many other historical sights. The Dongcheng District also offers a good selection of places to stay in Beijing as well as good access to the city's public transport system. Beijing experiences a wide range in temperatures through the course of the year, with crisp, frozen mornings in mid-winter (January) and sultry summer days in midsummer (July), when temperatures often exceed 30°C (87 °F). Most visitors will find that Beijing is at its best in late spring and autumn when temperatures are more comfortable.

Flights to Beijing arrive at the Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and there are a number of transport options to get to accommodations in the city. Most visitors take taxicabs to get downtown, and this is probably the most convenient way if carrying heavy baggage. The Airport Express train transfers passengers to the city's subway system where passengers can make connections to most parts of the city. The cheapest option to Beijing from the airport is to take the Airport Shuttle, which services a number of destinations throughout the city. Visitors to Beijing can easily be overwhelmed by the vast scale of the city and the number of places that simply must be visited. The most popular tourist destinations in Beijing are the Forbidden City and the The Temple of Heaven. Modern architectural marvels also abound in Beijing, although visitors are more likely to pass through them on their way to the more ancient sites.

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